Forestry Corporation fined for destroying native animal habitat

NSW EPA

Destroying the habitat of endangered species has cost Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) $45,000 in fines.

The EPA issued three $15,000 Penalty Infringement Notices to FCNSW for felling hollow bearing trees across three areas in Mogo State Forest in 2020. These trees provide vital habitat for endangered species.

Forestry Corporation has appealed against one of the fines.

The EPA set Site Specific Operating Conditions for forestry activity in the Mogo State Forest following damage from the 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires.

EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Carmen Dwyer said these conditions were in place to provide additional environmental protections for damaged forests, including the requirement to permanently retain all hollow bearing trees, which were particularly important for the habitat of native animals.

“The ongoing survival of endangered hollow-dependent species relies on the availability of trees across the landscape with a range of hollow shapes and sizes,” Ms Dwyer said.

“Any decrease in the availability and diversity of tree hollows can lead to a significant loss of species diversity and abundance.”

This is the largest fine the EPA is able to issue for these offences under legislation.

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